Minnesota Vegan Q&A

Q&A is a format that showcases a blogger in their own words and gives us an avenue to better get to know the writer behind the screen. Minding Minnesota asks the questions and Minnesota Vegan so graciously answers! Enjoy! 
Why do you choose to be a vegan?
"I wanted to be as cool as my friend, Shawn, in high school. I had been vegetarian on and off since age 9 when I visited a farm and befriended a very noisy goose, only to find out he had become dinner the following week. It just seemed a little...off to me. Like, I wouldn't want my companion animal killed for food? This goose had a personality-he was sassy as hell. 
I went completely vegan in 2005 after meeting Shawn. and learning how she did the vegan thing. She is such a cool lady and it seemed like the only thing to do. I think many people that go vegan for animal rights reasons find that they decide to commit fully because they can't find any more excuses not to. Though I'm not an activist by definition (and I fucking hate PETA for crazy-making vegans), I choose to live by example. People really notice when you're not showy/leave a little mystery and tend to ask more questions as opposed to be defensive about being educated about veganism. Then you're just like "yeah, veganism's the best, NBD, it's a no-brainer, why would you not?" and people tend to take that as you knowing what the hell you're doing."
How long have you been a vegan? Did you gradually make the transition or jump right in?
"Since late 2005-ish so a little over 8 years I think? I round up to 10 when I'm asked in public just for clout/funsies/shitsngigs."
Why blog about it?  
"Honestly, my blog is the one place I get to write (briefly! I'm lazy) about what I think the best vegan eats in Minnesota are as well as just dually act like an asshole. I can't even believe people read the stuff I write sometimes. My brain is so weird."
What are some of your favorite local eateries that have vegan menus or vegan menu items?
"Depends on what you're going for! But I will name just a few...
1. Isle Bun and Coffee for the best (BEST) vegan scones I have ever laid my mouth on. Dip that sucker in coffee and you are in heaven, promise.
2. French Meadow for best vegan fancy eats.
3. Ecopolitan for quality vegan raw food, if you're into that sort of thing. Also! If you're willing to make the trek to Menomonie, WI, Raw Deal is a gem for raw eats.
4. Triple Rock Social Club for the freaking best vegan bbq po' boy I have ever EVER had. Get it with nacho cheez.
5. Bull Dog NE for the best vegan beet burger ever (with amazing flavors).
6. Hard Times for the best hungover brunch (get the vegan biscuits and gravy or I'll punch myself).
7. Pizza Luce for vegan slice Thursdays at the St Paul location!! Otherwise, they have a mean bbq sauce pizza called the Rustler that kicks so much ass, it's insane. Tons of vegan "Italian"-style food here.
8. Glam Doll Donuts for vegan donuts. Ugh...I can't seem to pull myself away from this place. It is intense right now because they just started serving them. Like, when I see the vegan bakery case, I hear harps playing.
9. Evergreen Chinese for the best vegan Chinese EVER. EVERRR. Get the mock-fried pepper pork.
10. Muddy Waters (holler at ya girl!) for the best fancy bar vegan eating experience. Tons of good stuff.
I think that about covers it! Check Happycow.com for the best."
Are there any local vegan meet-ups, groups or social events you attend?
"Ethique Nouveau/ARC (completely vegan shop in South Minneapolis THAT SELLS VEGAN WHITE CHOC CHIPS) and CAA (U of M's vegetarian organization) are great places to meet some like-minded peeps, but I met all my closest vegan friends through Ethique Nouveau/ARC. They are some of the best people I know. The Minneapolis Vegan Meet Up is a pretty good resource for meeting others too! Personally though, I rarely have time which is super bummer road."
Have you noticed a change in the local vegan eatery landscape in the last few years? More places with menu items or solely vegan menus? Expanding menus and meals? Pricing?
"Oh heck yes. Though the Twin Cities is home to only one completely vegan restaurant (Ecopolitan, raw vegan food), we are freaking lucky to have so many places that offer vegan options now. Vegan is on the map, and I no longer walk into place and get the puzzled "wtf are you talking about?" look. I have extreme gratitude for restaurants that are flexible that way. Ten years ago, you couldn't find that stuff around here as well unless you dug a little."
If you could plan your ideal meal: appetizer, entrée and dessert from differing local places what would the items be and from where?
"Oh! Favorite question by far. I'm a big fan of brunch, so I'd do brunch at Hard Times with some vegan biscuits and gravy (black coffee too), dinner/dessert would be at either Evegreen Chinese or French Meadow if I was feeling swanky. Depends on my mood. You can frequently find me in sweatpants sooo..."
Thank you so much Minnesota Vegan for taking the time to educate and share some local vegan eateries. Keep blogging on about your passion! 


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